If you have a DWI or DUI conviction in the state of Minnesota, the court may require you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. Getting used to the IID experience may take a while. Do you know what to expect?

Who is eligible

A Minnesota law that became effective in 2011 requires all second-time drunk driving offenders and first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.16 percent or above to have an IID if they wish to retain driving privileges.

The IID explained

About the size of a mobile phone, the IID is basically a computer with a mouthpiece attached. In terms of setup, the IID will be hardwired to your engine with the device itself positioned near your steering wheel. It is also equipped with a camera so as to confirm who is driving the vehicle. This prevents the driver from drinking and trying to trick the IID by having a sober passenger blow into the mouthpiece. In fact, if you tamper with the device in any way or disable it, law enforcement can charge you with a misdemeanor.

Rolling along

When you breathe into the mouthpiece, the device will report the results of your test to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. If the IID detects no alcohol, your vehicle will start. Keep in mind there will be rolling retests as you drive to ensure that you are still sober and have not indulged in an alcoholic drink somewhere along the way.

Caring for the IID

An IID requires regular servicing at a location approved by DVS. One point to remember is that the IID remains in your vehicle through all kinds of weather. It is subject to seasonal heat and cold, which may affect the test results. Legal guidance may be in order if device reliability becomes an issue for you.